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History

The Kiwanis Club of Boone was chartered on March 23rd, 1973. The club was sponsored by the Banner Elk Kiwanis Club. The first president was Oscar Aylor, followed by Jim Jackson. Charter members included Mike Perry, Bob Dunnigan, Ed Pilkington, John Payne, John Thomas, Dr. Jerry Butler, and Dick Rupp. The club first began meeting in the Water Wheel restaurant, then shifted to the Integon Room in the Broyhill Center at ASU and eventually to the Holiday Inn.

The Circle K at Appalachian State University had been founded in 1972.  The initial goal was to distance the Kiwanis Club from ASU to attract more Boone businessmen.

Due to Jim Jackson's connection as president of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association and Ed Pilkington's as director of Horn in the West, the club's first project was to help get Horn in the West ready for opening.  In April and May of each year, club members swept the theater grounds, cleaned and painted the chairs, repaired sets, trimmed shrubbery, replaced lights, and did anything else they could to get the drama ready to open in June.  The club did this for several years.  

In the early days of the club, the members were relatively young and had more muscle than money so many of the club projects were go-to-the-scene work projects such as fixing a porch, repairing steps or repairing a roof for a needy member of the community. This arrangement worked well for early years. Sharing a bashed thumb or fingernail from Saturday's Kiwanis project with fellow members seemed to bring about a feeling of togetherness that was good for the club and the community.

After his stint as charter president, Oscar Aylor moved on to serve as a Carolinas District Lieutenant Governor in 1974-75.  Jim Jackson also served as a Lieutenant Governor, then District Governor. The club sponsored two District Conventions before they were limited to large cities. John Payne organized the conventions.
 
The Kiwanis Club of Boone was one of the earliest clubs in the Carolina District to admit female members. The club had only men members until the mid 1980s. The Boone Club boasted the first female club president among Western North Carolina clubs. The first woman president was Kathy Greene of Belk. That was a great time for Kiwanis in Boone.
 
From the onset, the Boone Club appeared to be a fertile ground for the development of good leadership. This would result from the unique features of a very active community, a college town well supplied with well skilled faculty and staff and a positive community spirit. Time showed that the recipe did indeed produce good leaders. As evidence, three Carolina District Governors of Kiwanis International have been chosen from the Boone Club.
 
As the years have passed, the menu of Boone Kiwanis projects has expanded. Emphasis has been placed on help for young children, here and around the world. The overall Kiwanis of Boone project list now includes much of the community. There is a Kiwanis appearance in most of the groups and organizations that are trying to make this a better community.

Information provided by Ken Abbott, Dick Rupp and Oscar Aylor   .